Richard Strauss "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", Orchestra of the University of the Arts Bremen and Bremerhaven Philharmonic Orchestra

Gerd Klingenberg, Weser Kurier, 27.02.2020

Even the introduction offered goose-pimples moments. Dull low bass rumbling at first, then solemnly rising trumpet fanfares, finally a glittering orchestra tutti: a wonderful "sunrise". [...] the distinct conducting of Marc Niemann kept the giant apparatus on a clear course. After only two weeks of rehearsals, the Ensemble performed with great unity and was in top form, especially when it came to fast and loud parts. The ups and downs between emotional exuberance and calmness, between passion and tedium of life, as indicated in the chapter titles of the composition, were wave-like.

Anton Bruckner, Symphony No. 4, Bremerhaven Philharmonic Orchestra

Gerd Klingenberg, Nordsee Zeitung, 20.06.2019

Unraveling from the mysterious string tremolo and horn motive, gigantic tone clusters of sound suddenly appear, allowing the orchestra to play to its full tutti potential.  With Niemann’s expansive phrasing, opulent kaleidoscopic images emerge; how concrete and vivid these images are felt lies solely in the imagination of the audience. The second movement features melodic soli in the cellos and violas.  A pleasant imitation of bird sounds quietly pulsate in the delicate pizzicato, establishing a lovely and tender background for the rich melodic soli passages sung by the cellos and violas. 

The first highlight is the sharply contoured, precisely executed Scherzo. Characterized by the multi-faceted brass motifs of a wild parforce hunt, which is surprisingly interrupted by invisible bucolic beautiful sound revelry. Even this is decisively topped by the glistening colored, momentarily ebbing away into almost nothingness, but from seemingly inexhaustible energy reserves again and again, a newly fed opulence of entrances reemerge in the Fortissimo finale. Bravo shouts and thunderous applause praise the intoxicating season-end concert igniting the desire for the next season.


William Bolcom, "McTeague - Greed for Gold", Stadttheater Bremerhaven

Dagmar Zurek, Das Orchester 6 / 2019

At first, shimmering soundscapes of the high strings portray the heat of the desert. The sometimes whimpering orchestration and contrasting violent galloping, such as in the wedding scene, establish a diverse orchestral score. The more dramatic the event becomes, the more threatening, eruptive the brass thunderstorm metamorphosizes from the orchestra pit. There are elements of blues, ragtime rhythms, and also a lot of sensual elegiac passages; in which the Philharmonic Orchestra Bremerhaven proves to be wonderfully playful. The General Music Director Marc Niemann exhibits with his conducting an impressive precision and singer-friendliness.

Giacomo Puccini, Madama Butterfly, Stadttheater Bremerhaven

Wolfgang Denker, Nordsee Zeitung 12.27.2018

Musically, there are no wishes left. How Marc Niemann and the Bremerhaven Philharmonic Orchestra present Puccini's music with sensual sonority, and also with a great sense for the finest details, exudes great class.  The sorrowful wallowing in sound when the child appears or when Pinkerton's ship arrives, becomes a pivotal moment in the piece.

Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 4, Bremerhaven Philharmonic Orchestra

Sebastian Loskant, Nordsee Zeitung, 22.11.2018

... In his masterly transparent interpretation, Marc Niemann made clear in the first movement just how endangered the superficial idyll  is. Through the bells and cello wistfulness, Marc Niemann successfully presents the seemingly childlike songs and marching music.

Paul Hindemith "Im Kampf mit dem Berge", Beethovenfest Bonn

FOCUS online 19.09.2018

The skillful instrumentalization made the small orchestra sometimes sound like a big, full symphony orchestra. The New Philharmonic Orchestra of Westphalia skilled with high tuning and intonation security as well as a very precise tuning of the technically and rhythmically very demanding solos convinced the audience. Conductor Marc Niemann worked with equal precision, which was particularly evident in the perfectly synchronized beginnings and endings of the individual acts. Successfully persuading this evening that the "squaring of the circle": Hindemith's composition stands for itself, as an entity existing without the film.

Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3, Bremerhaven Philharmonic Orchestra

Sebastian Loskant, Nordsee-Zeitung, 21.02.2018

This was followed by the 3rd Symphony in F major op.90 by Johannes Brahms, which is rarely heard so transparently. Brahms's orchestral score is commonly considered to be viscous. In contrast, Marc Niemann acted according to the recipe of cooking rice - everything was loose, grainy and did not stick. Thus, the structure of this work was particularly clear. That it constantly oscillates between major and minor tonalities. That drama always retreats into the lyric behavioral. The chamber music middle passages completely renounce the brass and timpani. Constant thoughtfulness seemed to be most valued in this interpretation.

Leo Fall "Madame Pompadour", Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landestheater

Christoph Kalies, Schleswig-Holsteinische Landeszeitung, 12.03.2018

And conductor Marc Niemann works out the satirical parts of Leo Falls' music, allowing the orchestra to indulge in cheeky marches and fierce waltz steps, as well as realize the subtle shades and timbre blends with a charming, daring tempo.

L. van Beethoven, Fidelio, Stadttheater Bremerhaven

Wolfgang Denker, Nordsee-Zeitung 27.12.2017

What determined the qualities of this "Fidelio" - above all worth listening to - were the performances of Marc Niemann and the Bremerhaven Philharmonic Orchestra [...]. Niemann is very committed to Beethoven,which shows the symphony cycle on CD, the penultimate third episode has just been released. The presentation of "Fidelio" proves his access to the music as absolutely consistent and competent. Instantly in the overture he gave weight and size. Niemann and the Bremerhaven Philharmonic Orchestra met the Singspiel character prevailing in the first act, as well as the dramatic suspense and emotionality of the second act. The quartet "Mir ist so wunderbar" was played with symmetry, perfect tempo, and exquisite sound balance. Niemann also found the right approach for the great choir scenes in the finale, which never gave the impression of hollow pathos.

James Reynolds "Tucholskys Mirror", Kammerakademie Potsdam, Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg

Hans Ackermann, Tagesspiegel, 22.07.17

Large interval jumps, enormous tonal ranges, and high dynamics - the Californian-born composer in Berlin demands a lot from the musicians. But also gives them wonderful, multi-vocal vocalises for the "Melan-cho-lie" or the "Lie-be". And the Chamber Academy Potsdam also proves its versatility as a jazz combo under the direction of the conductor Marc Niemann.

Irene Constantin, Neues Deutschland, 28.07.17

It is an orchestra whose music is no longer used in early music, but which audibly also has other qualities: the Chamber Academy Potsdam. All instrumentalists were perfect and just as perfect, especially as an advocate for the singer, Marc Niemann on the podium.

Antje Rößler, Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung, 23.07.2017

The surrealistic dance of authentic and innovative scenes is accompanied by a contrasting musical collage. Composer James Reynolds goes from psychedelic sound painting to coloratura, from contemporary opera to musical, from mouth percussion to the sweeping dance revues of the twenties, presented by a visually quirky jazz combo with sunglasses and Hawaiian vests. The Potsdam Chamber Academy under the direction of Marc Niemann masters this range confidently.

Dmitri Shostakovitch, Symphony No.5, Philharmonic Orchestra Bremerhaven

Sebastian Loskant, Nordsee-Zeitung, 11.05.17

Because the orchestra, demanded many times as a soloist, played under Niemann with a captivating conciseness and clarity that left nothing to be desired. In addition, they presented wonderful moments of inner peace and resistance in Largo, in this "The thoughts are free" feeling. [...] which liberated the orchestra and the conductor to celebrate the intensity of their performance. This concert experience, benefited by the dry acoustics in the big house, got under the skin. Too bad that Niemann limits his recordings to only Beethoven. His Shostakovich would also be ready to record.

Giuseppe Verdi "Un ballo in maschera", Stadttheater Bremerhaven

Karin Hiller, Foyer, 5/2017

[...] the staging grew more and more intense. Also thanks to the precise and sensitive orchestra under conductor Marc Niemann, and the lively acting opera choir, the audience praised the theater for a musically and scenically successful production.

Wolfgang Denker, Der, 01.05.17

Marc Niemann and the Philharmonic Orchestra give this unusual concept of directing an exciting rendition to the side.   He sets the gloomy world of Ulrica with powerful orchestral beats equally convincing in sound, as the passionate love duet or the striking scenes of the conspirators.  A thoroughly exciting rendering that owes nothing to the passion and impetus of the music.

Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No.3 "Eroica", Philharmonic Orchestra Bremerhaven,
Sebastian Loskant, Nordsee-Zeitung, 18.1.17

Everything about "Eroica" is unclassically different. […]
Niemann seemed to pick up the rhythmic tension from the drumming-spectacle and designed a piece in a wide range, the novelty of which is shared again over 200 years of distance. It became particularly clear how strongly Beethoven's bladder colours are constantly moving into the foreground. [...] The Elbphilharmonie may be the more beautiful place, but the Bremerhaveners do not have to hide the vigours, earnest and subtle atmosphere of the music. Bravo!

Manfred Gurlitt “Wozzeck”, City Theatre Bremerhaven
Wolfgang Denker, Der Opernfreund, 14.03.16

For Marc Niemann at the Philharmonic Orchestra's podium, the realisation of this opera must have been a longing of the heart: So carefully and phonetically graded, how the orchestra implements the subtleties of the score, no wish remained unfulfilled. Especially the overwhelming final music left a deep impression.

Jean-Philippe Rameau “Platée”, City Theatre Bremerhaven
Wolfgang Denker, Weser Kurier, 26.12.2015

Marc Niemann and the Philharmonic Orchestra Bremerhaven achieved a splendid rendition at the highest level, which satisfies the dance impetus of the music and the baroque sound pattern in every moment.

CD Besprechung (Ludwig van Beethoven Symphonies No.1 and No.5)
Sebastian Loskant, Nordsee-Zeitung, 21.11.2016

On the one hand, the recordings of the symphony concerts from July and September sound fantastic and magnificent […] on the other hand, the orchestra that stands up to close examination is growing consistently: It plays in excellent form, acts precisely without being sterile. How Beethoven experimented with the classical form in the first symphonies to shoot down his scale ultimately becomes clear in Niemann's vibrating, historically informed interpretation as well as the bold innovations of the 5th Symphony...

Sandor Szokolay “Blood Wedding”, City Theatre Bremerhaven
Ute Schalz-Laurenze, Neue Musik Zeitung, 18.03.15

This music fascinates from the first rhythmic tableau […] unique in its instrumental glaring, dreamlike colour, in the permanent complexity of stratified rhythms, and in the use of folkloristic and archaic tones. Niemann is playing with the well-following orchestra powerfully. It is not uncommon to see that this orchestral excitement is not exhausted.

Jens Fischer, Die deutsche Bühne

"The greed is burning like fire," it says in the libretto. […] In the musical sense, however, this sentence seems to be the motto of the evening from the very beginning: Has the orchestra of the Bremerhaven City Theater ever played a score with such a greedy enthusiasm? The new general music director Marc Niemann whips up the musicians to the peak with his clear, not interpretive, but elucidative conducting and lets Sandor Szokolay's "Vernasz" revive in a sharp-edged rendition of thrilling intensity. […] What blazes out of the orchestra pit is a compendium of film music with hypertensive effects.

Maurice Ravel “La valse”, Gustav Mahler, Symphony No.1, Philharmonic Orchestra Bremerhaven
Sebastian Loskant, Nordsee Zeitung, 08.10.14

Niemann pays attention to precise tonal balance in the ensemble, shaping filigree details. What needs to be done in advance? The dynamic spectrum is precisely staggered in the piano area; a fortissimo does not act violently. Nevertheless, there is no lack of awareness that each of these pieces carries an evil awakening, a Big Bang.

George Bizet “Carmen”, State Theatre of Cottbus
Dr. Andreas Gerth, Operapoint, 04.12.13

The Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theater Cottbus is the undisputed star of the evening. Already in the overture, the orchestra under the direction of Marc Niemann spreads a bewitchingly seductive fire of powerful dramatic emotional worlds, whereby he succeeds in letting the hot sun of Spain to blaze at the stage horizon acoustically throughout the performance.

Matthias Käther, Kulutrradio des rbb, 05.12.13

Excellence on this evening was also the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Theatre under the direction of Marc Niemann. I have rarely heard the piece being played so softly and atmospherically lately.

Christoph Willibald Gluck “Orfeo ed Euridice”, State Theatre of Cottbus
Matthias Käther, Rbb Kulturradio, 18.02.13

Once again at the best level of the choir and the orchestra of the Cottbus Theater (conducted by Marc Niemann) - I am always amazed at their tremendous stylistic versatility! Given these delicate shadings and baroque filigree, it is almost unbelievable that the same people were raging through Leo Fall’s Madame Pompadour just a few days ago.

L. Fall “Madame Pompadour”, State Theatre of Cottbus
Matthias Käther, Rbb Kulturradio, 28.01.13

And finally, at the podium of the State Theatre of Cottbus, Marc Niemann is exactly the right person to bring Leo Fall’s piquant and wonderfully springy music to life.

Frederik Hanssen, Tagesspiegel, 01.02.13

The fact that conductor Marc Niemann has always allowed the Philharmonic Orchestra Cottbus to act in a subtle way in all the hustle and bustle in the rebuilt pit has deeper meaning and methods. That is how the fine music of Fall becomes a clever matchmaker, who begins with gentle hand-pairings, creates favourable voices, and then lets the soloists shine all by themselves.

Ralph Vaughan Williams „Sinfonia antartica“, Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theater Cottbus
Irene Constantin, Lausitzer Rundschau, 14.01.13

Marc Niemann's conducting impressed particularly in the parts of ice-stiff calmness and sublime climax. His interpretation emphasised the gracelessness of the Antarctic world so vividly portrayed by Vaughan Williams.

Johannes Brahms, Symphony No.1, Philharmonic Orchestra Bremerhaven
Das Orchester, 2/2013

Marc Niemann let the orchestra play all pieces vividly and liltingly. Thus, the highly concentrated first movement received its smoothly flowing emotion too, and nothing was "across" in the ears. The second movement showed rigour of expression and romantic dreaming at the same time. The third movement would have been marked here with Schumann's "Glückes genug" (Joy in abundance), Melo's exuberance over cello pizzicato. The final was an example of how exciting transitions can be achieved, how musical expectations are stimulated and then fulfilled. And once again - and this, in complete fulfilment of Brahms's composing - increased the tone of the music, which was dissolved in an effervescent manner.

Sebastian Loskant, Nordseezeitung, 6.12.2012

[…] then focused all attention on the audience. And his conduct aroused interest. Did not we all believe that this "Brummer" with the insistent drums had to bounce so hard that all the skins burst? Niemann taught us something better. His Brahms came very smoothly, very supple, and therefore emphasised the sunny sides. For a long time, the city orchestra has not been carried away in such wide legato variation, and it was so easy to sing. Even if Niemann always had a clear bass foundation, it never grew gross or dull.

Benjamin Britten "Sinfonia da requiem", the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra
Klaus Büstrin, MAZ, 16.04.2012

Marc Niemann knew how to convey the inexorable, accusatory and never-maudlin facets of the music. The intensity that Niemann demanded was impressive. The conductor of the State Theater of Cottbus did not own anything to the score, nor to the very expressive message of the pacifist Britten behind. […] Niemann and the Brandenburg Symphonies accompanied him attentively and let the wonderful colour mixtures shine in the orchestra. […] With a twinkling eye, Marc Niemann and the symphonists treated this work, which was written in London in 1794. Lightly and nimbly it was played, thumbing the nose at the military. Here, too, one listened gratefully to the fact that the conductor and orchestra were a good team.

Ralph Vaughan Williams "Sinfonia antartica", Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theater Cottbus
Frank Dietschreit, Kulturradio des rbb, 16.04.2012

Under the direction of Marc Niemann, the chamber opera for 12 instruments and five soloists is intoned as a spooky and symbolic fairy tale. Niemann relies on sharp contrasts and exciting breaks. He wants to create fear and panic, and even the minimalistic sound variations have something creepy.

Dmitri Schostakowitsch, Sinfonie Nr. 6, Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theater Cottbus
Irene Constantin, Lausitzer Rundschau, 03.04.2012

In the long and slow piece (Shostakovich 6th Symphony) Marc Niemann understood to keep the tension and to create brilliant colours with the orchestra. In the first fast movements, Shostakovich let us hear his terrifying and frightening laughter, whereas in the second, real joy, spiced with a beautiful violin solo.

E. Humperdinck „Hänsel und Gretel“, Staatstheater Cottbus
Matthias Käther, Kulturradio des rbb, 05.12.2011

Excellence on this evening was also the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Theatre under the direction of Marc Niemann. I have rarely heard the piece being played so softly and atmospherically lately.

Dr. Andreas Gerth, Operapoint, 04.12.2011

Marc Niemann lets the Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theater Cottbus weave a wonderfully wide sound carpet, which carries along with dynamic tempo changes, a rich vibrato and luminous tutti.

Maurice Ohana, guitar concerto, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Symphony No.4, the Koblenz Rhine Philharmonic State Orchestra
Michael Schaust, Rhein-Zeitung, 14.06.11

With the guest director Marc Niemann, the orchestra embarks firstly on a journey of Brahms. From a simple melody in the two-quarter-note, the German composer has been inspired to his Haydn variations; eight in number, each one gets their unmistakable character. Before the break, a great challenge awaits the orchestra and soloist Goran Krivokapic. The “Concerto: Trois graphics pour guitar et orchestre” by Maurice Ohana […] Just as precisely knows the Philharmonic how to fulfil their parts, and the music sounds appealingly strange now and then, from thunderstorms to delicate melodic arches. Furious tempo alternates with a slow swing. The 4th Symphony by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy is a contrast to that. The State Orchestra lets the “Italian” shine in its light and bright nature of the work. There is many whistles, less romance, a lot of power. With their melodies and their temperament, a picture of Italian culture. […] Great applause for Dukic and his subtle, noble guitar tone and the congenial accompaniment by the orchestra under the direction of Marc Niemann.

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Violin Concerto, J. Brahms, Symphony No. 2, Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theater Cottbus
Irene Constantin, Lausitzer Rundschau, 10.05.11

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto [...] Conductor Marc Niemann gave the second movement a weighty songlike character compared to the usual endless odd Adagio. The rapid conclusion was a flashing and whispering fantasy, a spring breeze; Realest Mendelssohn. Brahms' music moves out of itself, without a pictorial or literary program. That is exactly what Marc Niemann makes clear with his interpretation. He moulds the individual voices, makes it possible to experience how they relate to each other, how themes evolve and emphasise second violins and violas as well. He brings above all tragic serene energetic aspects out of those voices to the sound, which Brahms has entrusted with the respective characteristics. Marc Niemann scores as a score-analyzer with extraordinary sound imagination. He was rewarded with applause.

Pjotr Tschaikowsky “Eugen Onegin“, Theatre Pforzheim
Ludwig Steinbach, Orpheus international, 11.02.08

Also musically, it can be called a star hour. Conductor Marc Niemann unleashed all passions with the high-ranking orchestra. The soul-life of the protagonists was brought to the surface by him. At the same time, he understood well how to add a due shot of drama to Tchaikovsky's "lyrical scenes".

Susanne Ihringer, Gmünder Tagespost, 01.03.08

Intoxicating music. Marc Niemann produced with his orchestra a piece of music that made the listeners feel all the ups and downs of the soul life of the protagonists.

Giacomo Puccini „La Bohème“, Theatre Pforzheim
Wolfram Frey, Pforzheimer Zeitung, 10.11.07

It is thus close to Puccini's aesthetics. It also corresponds to the musical study by Marc Niemann, the first Kapellmeister of the Theater Pforzheim, who leads thoughtfully and assuredly through the score.
Niemann avoids antics which have settled into the performance tradition. His tempos are fluent, his ductus harmonious. He uses expressive nuances in a decent and subtle way. And he makes the well-disposed and colourful orchestra playing a full range blossom melodiously in the appropriate places. Also, a musical "bohème" characterised by unaffected sobriety and clear conciseness in expression.

Ludwig Steinbach, Focus Musikszene, 1+2 2018

Marc Niemann immersed in Puccini's intoxicating orchestral tones with a dazzlingly disposed orchestral textures.

Ulrich Hartmann, Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 10.11.07

...could become the winner of the golden city programmes, not least for musical reasons.
Even the two gripping Forte beats, marking the upbeat of the third act, attest the enhanced presence of the City Orchestra, which under the direction of the first Kapellmeister, Marc Niemann, filled the Philharmonic enthusiasm of this music with pleasure.

Sergej Prokofjew “Romeo und Julia“, Braunschweig State Theatre
Andreas Berger, Braunschweiger Zeitung, 21.05.05

The audience applauded enthusiastically, also to Marc Niemann and the State Orchestra Braunschweig, who converted the Prokofiev's colourful music with rhythmic verve.